Butler vs Xavier Big East Tournament

Butler vs Xavier Big East Tournament | 2021 NCAA Basketball Expert Analysis

Written by on March 9, 2021

Butler is having a hugely disappointing season and the Bulldogs will not be an NCAA Tournament team unless they somehow win the Big East Tournament. That’s very unlikely for the No. 10 seed, which is +10000 to do so on the NCAAB odds. No. 7 Xavier is on the NCAA Tournament bubble, needs to beat Butler on Wednesday in the first round of the Big East tourney and is +750 to win it.

How to Bet Butler vs. Xavier NCAA Basketball Odds & TV Info

  • When: Wednesday, 6 PM ET
  • Where: Madison Square Garden, NYC
  • TV: Fox Sports 1
  • Stream: Fox Sports Go
  • Radio:com
  • Opening NCAAB Lines: TBA (Xavier will be favored)

Last Meeting

Xavier won both meetings this season. The teams last played on Feb. 21 at Xavier and the Musketeers prevailed 63-51. Butler totaled 20 points in the second half, a season low for the team. Zach Freemantle had 17 points and 10 rebounds to lead Xavier. Colby Jones added 13 points and 11 rebounds.

Why Bet on Butler? | 2021 NCAA Basketball Expert Analysis

Butler (9-14) has been really hit hard this year by injuries and already has ruled out senior guard and leader Aaron Thompson for the rest of the season. Two other key guys, Bryce Nze and Bo Hodges, will be game-time decisions on Wednesday. If they can’t play, the Dawgs will have only seven scholarship players available.

Nze had to be helped off the floor in last Saturday’s game against Creighton with an ankle injury. He is averaging 10.6 points and 8.0 rebounds per game this season. Hodges has been limited to seven games and is averaging 9.4 points and 6.7 rebounds.

The Bulldogs lost their finale Saturday at No. 14 Creighton, 93-73. Marcus Zegarowski scored 32 points, the most by a Butler opponent this season. The Bluejays used 12-of-25 three-point shooting to take control of the contest. Creighton’s 93 points were the most allowed to a Butler opponent this season.

Freshman Chuck Harris scored a career-high 29, his fifth 20-point game of the season. Bryce Golden scored 19 points on 8-of-11 shooting, matching his career-high for Butler. Nze exited the game with 6:42 to play in the first half. Hodges was unable to play due to a calf injury that continued to bother him pregame and into the first half.

Harris has been a huge bright spot this season. He was a unanimous pick to the Big East All-Freshman Team. Averaging 12.8 points per game, Harris leads the Bulldogs and is 16th in the BIG EAST in scoring. Among freshmen, only Marquette’s Dawson Garcia (13.2) has a higher scoring average. Harris is also third in the conference in free throw percentage (.836), tenth in three-pointers made (2.0 per game), and 11th in three-point shooting (.393).

Butler and Xavier have met twice previously in the BIG EAST Tournament. The Musketeers won quarterfinal match-ups in both 2015 and 2017 with Butler as the higher seed both seasons.

Why Bet on Xavier? | 2021 NCAA Basketball Expert Analysis

Xavier (13-7) was knocked off 66-59 at Marquette on Saturday, a bad loss for the Musketeers’ NCAA hopes. Xavier opened the second half by outscoring Marquette 14-6 over the first seven and half minutes to tie the game at 38-38 with 12:27 to play.

After trading baskets to make it 40-40, Marquette built its lead back out to as many as seven 52-45, with seven minutes remaining. Xavier would get as close as one, 60-59, before the Golden Eagles close out the game with five straight points from D.J. Carton to set the final score at 66-59.

Paul Scruggs led the Musketeers with 18 points, and matched team-high with six rebounds. Adam Kunkel added 11 for the Musketeers and dished out three assists. C.J. Wilcher, who made his first career start, set a new career high at 10 points, including a pair of threes.

Zach Freemantle was named second-team All-Big East and the conference’s most improved player. Freemantle, who has posted six double-doubles in scoring-rebounding in the last seven games, leads the team in scoring at 16.3 ppg., which ranks fifth in the Big East. He leads the entire league in rebounding at 9.0 rpg.

Scruggs was also named second-team All-Big East. He leads the conference and is 15th in the nation in assists at 5.8 apg. Scruggs, who is second on the team and 11th in the Big East in scoring at 14.2 ppg., has come up big on the defensive end as well, ranking third in the league in steals at 1.6 spg.

Xavier is 8-7 all-time in Big East Tournament play, including 2-0 against Butler.

Expert College Basketball Prediction

Xavier 70, Butler 64


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